Salt Lake City Small House

Salt Lake City Small House

rendering of completed house
Rendering of Completed House

I am Jeff White the director of the Sarah House Utah project. We are a small non profit community based organization. Our goal with the Sarah House project is to provide fast, green minded, safe, affordable homes for the underserved using salvaged material and volunteer labor.

We are also providing online instruction and showing people how to build inexpensive homes using salvaged material for themselves. Our small house is 640 square feet and is currently being constructed in a residential neighborhood in Salt Lake City which was a lesson in dealing with permitting and zoning, etc. I have enclosed a few photographs. You can see more on our facebook page Sarah House Utah or pose a question as many others have on our page.

side view of house

closeup of porch

stepping back to see container


  1. Looks fantastic. Would love to read/see a follow up, as their build progresses. The roofing design looks lovely and sure that will nicely filter the sunlight into the windows. Covered porch/carport area is a nice tough.

  2. This is great! Small houses need to become the norm again. These large homes you see today were not the norm in the 40’s-60’s.

  3. Container homes are the way to go, inexpensive, very sturdy, most framing done, can be very secure and mobile. I cant wait to sell my current 1,500ft house, rent for a couple of more years, invest the money saved, and build my house cash! 😉

  4. This looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright house that was built on Smithsonian grounds 20 or so years ago. You had to wait in line for an hour to see inside. I liked it a lot and still wish I could have one.

    • That was the “Usonian” house, they built one in the parking area of Balboa Park in San Diego, also. I’ve been touring Wright homes since childhood, (grew up in N. Illinois) and enjoyed the Usonian better than most. It design was meant to be “accessable to the common family, and I always thought FLLW was a genius for this and other similar designs.

  5. Jeff,
    Thanks for sharing- the pics look great! I have often thought that a container home was the way to go.
    I was wondering if you had a website I could check for more pictures. I don’t have a FB account, and probably won’t get one, so I can’t really go there to see more pictures. If you had another place, I would love to check out what you are accomplishing.

  6. Nice use of a container for the core element. Just too bad that the add-on will rot due to the lack of separation between the ground and wood. If the termites and carpenter ants don’t eat it then the rain and snow will eventually tirn the chip board panels into soggy shredded wheat.

  7. Nice real nice my wife and O are building a container home in southern Utah and love both the area and our new home it’s 90% done now great project you have good luck on future homes

    • Ozo, where in Southern Utah did you build? We are very interested in building a container home and are curious what area in Southern Utah would allow a to build one.

  8. What a great looking home. This sums up what I’ve always instinctively felt about housing. Why should good, solid, affordable housing lack in character? I wish everyone there all the best luck!

  9. Very well designed. The glue lams distribute the weight of the roof. The end swing out doors are replaced by main entrances. The builder has thought this build through. Good job!

    I have a wood shop built out of 3 containers.
    (you could start a whole blog site on container stuff.)

  10. we will be building a tiny house next spring when we can sell our current home/investment. our goal is to pay cash and have no mortgage. what were the struggles with building in utah? how do we even find out about that stuff? do you know if a tiny house on wheels is any easier to make legal? feel free email me directly!
    thank you

  11. Hi Jeff!
    I am so glad I found this! I have been looking all over for someone here in the SLC are that is building tiny homes. I am currently saving to build a tiny house on wheels. I have looked at your blog and your page on facebook and I’ve seen some really cool looking container homes. Would you consider putting a tiny home in one of your projects? I would also like to volunteer with building too. That way I could also get some experience. I would love to talk with you.

  12. So excited to find this blog! It’s amazing to me that tiny/small houses are not more widespread. As a single mom, I either have to pay outrageous rent (and spend tons of time working away from my daughter to do so) or live with family, which wears on everyone. Hope to get one of my own someday!